Heritage Tourism and Heritage

Jubilee Clock Tower in Banjul: A wave of nostalgia for olden days

The Jubilee Clock Tower erected in the former Secretariat now Quadrangle in Banjul is among the heritage sites in The Gambia.

The Jubilee Clock Tower erected in the former Secretariat now Quadrangle in Banjul is among the heritage sites in The Gambia.

The Clock Tower which is not so much noticed or popular among children and tourists nowadays was erected in 1892 by the company called J. Bavreras 73 years before The Gambia Independence in 1965 and was refurbished in 1897 by the Bathurst Women to mark the 60th Anniversary of the Queen Victoria ascension to the throne.


It is the first Clock Tower in Destination Gambia situated in the middle of the former Secretariat right on top of the roof of the building housing the Ministry of Finance in Quadrangle it was officially inaugurated by governor Llewely. The Jubilee Clock Tower in the olden days when it was perfectly working well served great purposes, particularly at the working hours whereby it chimed every key hour of the day. According to narration it was believed that the sound from the Clock Tower when it chime in the olden days could be heard in Lamin village especially when the wind is strong and blowing across Lasso Wharf, the present day Bond Road in Banjul.


Hassoum Ceesay, a historian and Director General of the National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC) affirmed that “it is one of the little known heritage sites erected in 1892 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the coming to power of Queen Victoria who was until that time the longest serving British Monarch. But, of course, now she has been overtaken by Queen Elizabeth who has clocked 70 years on the throne.”


Meanwhile, many people in Bathurst at that time depended on this clock to know the time to be in the office, as work started those days by 7:30 am; the time for the break was 12:30 to 2 pm and it is compulsory to have a break then if you were a government employee while closing time was at 5:30 pm. “At those hours the clock will chime and if you grew up in Bathurst those days then your head will work with the time as many programmed their memories as per the chime of the Tower Clock and it was a reliable source of time,” he explained more.


However, the Jubilee Clock Tower remains in its position though no longer working but it is one of the heritage sites in the capital city of Banjul.

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Yunus S Saliu

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2 Comments

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    Jalony

    October 8, 2022

    This is a treasure that should not be left to decay. Surprisingly I never knew there was such a tower in Banjul. Thank you for educating me and I hope the responsible authorities will do the needful to keep it standing. In western countries, such serves as a significant tourist attraction.

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      Yunus S Saliu

      October 8, 2022

      Thanks greatly for your wonderful comments. More heritage sites in Destination Gambia are worth visiting for information, education, and entertainment. Try to visit The Gambia on your next holiday…

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